September 30, 2017
9:00am - 11:00am
September 30, 2017
Gerald “Lefty” Christenson
In the early hours of Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, Gerald “Lefty” Christenson of Moorhead, MN, passed away at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, ND. His passing was unexpected and abrupt, succumbing to a late cancer diagnosis.
Lefty was born near Evansville, MN, in 1939, to Arlie and Amy (Johnson) Christenson. The family moved from the farm to the City of Battle Lake where Lefty graduated high school in 1956. He was an athlete that excelled in sports, especially baseball. In 1957, he was drafted by the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers and reported to training camp in Vero Beach, FL, that summer. He stayed in the minor leagues for two years, landing in St. Louis playing for the Cardinals in 1959. After he was released, Lefty came home and made his mark on “townball”. As the Battle Lake Lakers left-handed pitcher, he had a reputation to pick off runners. He also held state records in the number of strike-outs in a game.
Lefty served in the National Guard in early 1960’s. In 1966, he married Kay Krusee, settled in Moorhead, and had two children Cari and Cody. In 1968, he graduated from Moorhead State University with a teaching degree and started his long teaching career in the Moorhead schools. He was a favorite teacher to many. Past students and aides were known to look him up and reminisce about the “old days” of scooter races, dodgeball, and learning the popcorn dance.
Kay and Lefty divorced in 1983, starting a new chapter for him. He eventually retired from teaching in the mid 1990’s. It was around this time he settled into retirement by working at the American Legion in Moorhead. After 22 years, he was a staple at the club. He could often be found bantering with the regulars, cleaning the popcorn machine, planning the next Mexico trip, and eating apple critters. The Legion crew was his family – he will be genuinely missed.
Lefty loved his family, his friends, and life itself. He was well known around the area in many different circles – “everyone” knew Lefty. Because of this, there will be a noticeable void in our hearts for a while. Take comfort in remembering his smile and laugh, he wouldn’t want you to be sad.
Lefty is survived by his children Cari (Matt) Herman and Cody (Mary) Christenson and six granddaughters Samantha, Madison, Amy, Elleri, Alexis, and Bailey. He is preceded in death by his parents Amy and Arlie Christenson, brother Arlynn Christenson, and sisters Donna Keegan and Janice Christenson.
There will be a visitation from 9-11 on Saturday, September 30th, at Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo, ND. Starting at 2pm, there will be a celebration of Lefty’s life at the American Legion in Moorhead. The family requests that in lieu of flowers or gifts, memorials be sent to the American Legion Post 21 (303 30th St No. Moorhead, MN 56560).